THRC – 03.01.14 Update

03.01.14 update


Preserving Bradford’s Past ~ Building Bradford’s Future

Town Hall Restoration Committee Mission Statement                          

The mission of the Town Hall Restoration Committee is to restore the Town Hall to a functional building for municipal services and community use. The best investment for the town is to modernize the building to provide for the town’s present needs, as cost effectively as possible, so that it can continue to serve Bradford for many years to come, consistent with its historical character. ~ November 2011


  • A restoration and renovation of Town Hall will provide for municipal offices & meeting space, and will significantly increase necessary storage.
  • Use of Bradford’s Community Center was only a temporary measure.
  • Provides a safe, healthy & secure working environment for town employees.
  • Our restored and renovated Town Hall will be a versatile building, able to perform many different functions for the town and residents.
  • Restores our Town Hall which is listed on theNational Register of Historic Places.


  • It has always been a priority of the THRC to use qualified local workers, which is good for Bradford’s economy.
  • Town Hall has the highest valuation of any town-owned property at $735,700.
  • Rebuilding preserves and increases the value of the building for town and taxpayers.
  • Improving Main Street, making Bradford better for prospective homebuyers and businesses.


  • The total cost of the project, listed in the warrant article is One Million Four Hundred Sixty Six Thousand Dollars ($1,466,000);
  • The amount requested for the bond is One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000.00);
  • The balance of the total cost will come from grants and donations as raised by the Town Hall Restoration Committee.


  • See an increase in interest rates.
  • See an increase in construction costs.
  • Allow the building to further deteriorate.
  • An unattractive Main Street will lead a decrease in Bradford property values.
  • Town will need to continue to spend money on an unoccupied building: insurance, electricity (alarm system), heating (damage without).
  • Jeopardize continued use of Community Center for Town Office.
  • Loss of this historic treasure that has served this town so well would be unconscionable.


  • It is still not too late to obtain low interest rates which are predicted to increase in the near future.
  • Construction costs are predicted to increase 7 to 12 % over the next year.
  • Construction of an equivalent town hall building would cost much more than the plan presented.
  • Not renovating means the building remains vacant and loses value to deterioration or damage.
  • We will pass our iconic Town Hall along to future generations.


  • Preservation of the historical structure and architectural features of the building.
  • New foundation at rear of building to eliminate mold, structural, and moisture issues, while providing clean and dry storage for town documents.
  • New systems including electrical, mechanical, well, septic, fire suppression and alarm systems.
  • Interior construction and finishing including new and expanded first floor offices, meeting rooms, lavatories, storage, and egress stairs.
  • New insulation and energy retrofit, window restoration and storm windows, new Asphalt roofing.
  • Hazardous material abatement.
  • A generator sufficient to power the fire pump and other needs of the building.

Bradford’s Elected Officials Support

  • The Bradford Selectmen have endorsed the Town Hall Restoration Plan with a unanimous 3-0 vote.
  • The Bradford Budget Committee has recommended the warrant article for the Town Hall Restoration by a unanimous 7-0 vote.
  • The Bradford Planning Board voted unanimously to support the Town Hall Restoration Plan.

Functions for a restored Town Hall: Town Voting Place, Town Meeting, Candidate Forums, Theater, Music Performances, Dances, Wedding Receptions, Bridal & Baby Showers, Anniversary Celebrations, Children’s Theater & Summer Activities, Films, Graduation Ceremonies, Square Dancing, Lectures, Art Shows and many other Cultural & Civic Events. 

02.04.14 update

The Town Hall Restoration Committee has continued to work to create a strong plan for the future of our irreplaceable town hall building. Bradford needs space for town meetings and voting, and essential administrative functions such as tax collection, vehicle registration, and board and commission meetings. The mission of the Town Hall Restoration Committee is to restore the Town Hall to a functional building for municipal services and community use. The best investment for the town is to modernize the building to provide for the town’s present needs, as cost effectively as possible, so that it can continue to serve Bradford for many years to come, consistent with its historical character.

A recurring question to the Restoration Committee has been regarding the placement of a full foundation under the entire renovated Town Hall. The Building Committee has explored this question with industry professionals and, after considerable research and consultation, the Town Hall Building Committee is recommending the placement of a full foundation under only the rear portion of the Town Hall. The reasons for this decision are:

  • The design team undertook a full evaluation of the existing foundation, its support, timbers, and sills; and found that the foundation for approximately two-thirds of the front of the building is sound, dry, and stable. Therefore, because there has been very little, if any, movement of the building in that area, foundation work there is not necessary.
  • The resulting basement space could be used only for storage, due to life-safety and building code restrictions; and the full basement would exceed the storage needs for the Town.
  • Additional basement space would require more automatic fire sprinklers. More sprinklers mean a larger water cistern and fire pump, which would increase the cost of the project.

Thus, while it is true that the cost of added basement space would be less per square foot than building a new space elsewhere, it is still a significant cost, for which there is no pressing need. For these reasons, the Building Committee recommends against including a full foundation in its building plans for the Town Hall.

In July 2013 the Selectmen established the Town Hall Maintenance and Renovation Trust account. This account may be used for money raised through fundraising events and for private donations, including tax deductable donations.

In September, the Select-board agreed with the THRC to choose Bruss Construction as the construction manager for the project. We have been hard at work for an updated plan that best suits Bradford’s current and future needs.

The Committee and members of our community have joined in fundraising efforts including a July “Silent Auction”, a Christmas Greens & Holiday Pie Sale, the Masons Spaghetti Dinner and a January 2014 Progress Dinner. The Committee currently has undertaken a campaign to secure pledges of financial support for a public / private partnership to complete the rehabilitation of Town Hall.

The Town of Bradford has a dedicated committee to manage the project who are willing to raise part of the funding for the project on behalf of the town. The Committee has been working closely with the Select-board to refine plans for the project and raise matching private funds, including grants and rebates, in anticipation of a warrant article request at the March 2014 town meeting.

Bradford’s Select-board fully supports the restoration/renovation of Town Hall. On January 29, 2014 the Budget Committee unanimously voted to recommend this year’s warrant article for Town Hall and on January 30, 2014 the Planning Board voted unanimously to give their support for the Town Hall Restorations.

As always, the Restoration Committee appreciates the comments and questions from residents as we work towards returning the Town Hall to a vital part of our community. Feel free to contact us: Eileen Kelly at 938-2779.

Committee Members

Eileen Kelly, Chair; John Greenwood, Vice Chair; Marge Cilley, Secretary; Jim Bibbo, George Cilley, Nikki Dubaere, Karen Hambleton, Marcia Keller, Scott MacLean, Sandy Paul, Mel Pfeifle, Susan Reynolds, Beth Rodd, Walter Royal, Audrey V. Sylvester, Caryl Walker, Sandra Wright, and Jim Bruss, consultant.